Round 2 Corus saw Wesley So being paired against the former World Championship Candidate -Oleg Romanishin . It's been more then a decade since i last here Oleg play in any top chess tournaments so i'm eager to see how he fair against Wesley.
GM Wesley So (2627) - GM Oleg Romanishin (2533)
Corus C, Round 2, 18.1.09
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6
Oleg shows that he's not keen to play the Marshall Gambit starting with 7...0-0 which is the latest trend in the Ruy lopez. Oleg probably prefer to use his huge experience handling the "original" Ruy Lopez position that memorizing the latest Marshall theory ! 8.c3 0–0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Nd7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 14.Nb3 a5 15.Be3 a4 16.Nbd2 exd4 17.Nxd4 Nxd4 18.Bxd4 Ne5 19.Nf3 Bf6 20.Nxe5 Bxe5 21.Bxe5 dxe5 22.Qd5 Be6
This move come as a surprise for me. I was expecting black to play the natural 22...Qxd5 . After checking with Fritz, i see what black have in mind. 23.Qxe5 Qd2 24.Rac1 ( not 24.Rec1? Rac8) 24...Bxa2 25.Qxb5 Rfb8 black will regain the pawn back with active play. 23.Qxb5 quite a risky move especially after Oleg strong reply with 23...Qg5! Black not only guard the e5 pawn, he also threaten 24...Bxh3 or 24...Rfb8 at the same time ! 24.h4 Qf6 25.b3 axb3 26.Bxb3 Bxb3 27.axb3 White is a pawn up and it's a passed pawn so he's the only one who can possibly win the game. However i think with correct play the game should be draw. 27...Rab8 28.Qd3 Qxh4 black regain his pawn but still he have to look after white passed pawn on b file. 29.Ra5 Rb6 30.Rxe5 Rh6 31.Qh3White force to trade the queen and give a pawn back because black is threatening 31...Qh1+ 31... Qxh3 32.gxh3 Rxh3 33.Rb1 f6 34. Rc5 i think 34.Re7 deserved consideration. Putting the rook on it's "seven heaven" is suggested by the chess endings book -Fundamental Chess Endings by Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht. if black reply it with 34...Rb8 then 35.b4 34...Re8 35.Kg2 Rd3 36.Rc4 Re5 37.b4 Rb5 38.Kf1 Rd7 39.Rc5 Rxc5 40.bxc5 Rd4 41.Ke2 !? Wesley offer the e pawn to gained tempo for his king ! 41...h5 Oleg choose not to take the pawn. If 41...Rxe4+ 42.Kd3 white king is moving foward quickly. 42.Rc1 once again Wesley offer the e4 pawn but oleg reject it with 42...Kf7 43.Ke3 Rd8 44.f4 h4 45.f5 h3 46.Kf3 Rd3+ 47.Ke2 Rd8 48.Kf3 1/2-1/2